How do you hydrate a newborn?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

To hydrate a newborn, it is important to offer a bottle or breastfeed frequently. Newborns have small stomachs and may not be able to take in large amounts of milk at each feeding, so it is crucial to offer frequent feedings to ensure they are getting enough fluids.

Breastfeeding is the best way to hydrate a newborn as breast milk contains the perfect balance of nutrients and hydration for their growing bodies. If you are breastfeeding, make sure to nurse your baby on demand and offer the breast whenever they show signs of hunger or thirst. This can be as often as every 2-3 hours in the early weeks.

If you are bottle-feeding, it is recommended to follow the guidance of your pediatrician or healthcare provider on how much and how often to feed your baby. They will be able to provide specific recommendations based on your baby’s age, weight, and overall health.

It is important to note that for newborns, water, juice, and other drinks should not be introduced unless advised by a doctor. Newborns do not have fully developed kidneys, and their bodies are not able to handle excess amounts of water or other fluids. Offering water or other drinks to a newborn can disrupt the delicate balance of electrolytes in their body and may even lead to water intoxication.

In cases of illness, vomiting, or diarrhea, it is crucial to consult with your doctor before offering any oral rehydration fluids. They will be able to assess the severity of the situation and provide appropriate guidance on how to manage your baby’s hydration needs. In some cases, oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte may be recommended, but it should always be under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Remember to monitor your baby’s hydration status by observing their urine output. A well-hydrated baby will have clear or pale urine. If you notice that your baby is urinating less frequently or their urine appears dark or concentrated, it is important to seek medical advice as this may indicate dehydration.

In conclusion, to hydrate a newborn, offer frequent bottle feedings or breastfeed on demand. Avoid introducing water, juice, or other drinks without consulting with your doctor first, especially for newborns. Monitor your baby’s hydration status and seek medical advice if you have any concerns about their hydration levels.